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as it was in the 1600s.

Contemporary life surrounds us with a whirlwind of constant noise, incessant activity, and meaningless clutter, so it is not surprising that most of us are overextended, chronically tired, and feel weighed down by the pressures we carry.... The Spirit is speaking through the whirlwind of modern life, and if we listen quietly to the cool, calm Center within, there is an invitation to plain living awaiting each of us." As Whitmire makes dear, she knows whereof she speaks. Twenty-five years ago she was an overextended healthcare administrator who tried to simply her life by attending time - Brian Drayton management seminars, reorganizing her office, sleeping less, and spending New Year's Brian Drayton, a member ofWeare Meeting in day writing relationship, financial, health, and Heniker, New Hampshire, is a recorded minis- spiritual goals for the new year-with a plan ter in New England Yearly Meeting. to implement each. Unforrunately, the faster she tan, the more enmeshed in complexity and the details of life she became. Finally a friend who to noted her absorption in actively managing By Catherine Whitmire. her life pointed her Foreword by ParkerJ in the right direction Palmer. Sorin Books, by paraphrasing the 2001. 192 pages. $13.951 famous question, paperback. "How do you know Maine Quaker CathA QUAKER PATH TO SI M PLICITY what God is planerine Whitmire has made ning for your life?" every page of Plain Living As Whitmire a radiant reflection of the considered the quesLight. Her work is an antion, she says: "[I] ... thology of contemporary learned to listen Quaker writers including within and to focus Paul Lacey, Sandra Cronk, my time and enerParker Palmer, Douglas ·;,..tJ ... oloooljlll..,..._. gies on what I disfi:OM lHf fOti:WOtO 1'1' PA.J:ft J PAlMll Steere, and Elise Boulding, cerned to be God's CAT HERINE WHITMIRE as well as some of their will instead of my predecessors: Thomas own, [and] my life Kelly, Rufus Jones, Marbegan to simplify itgaret Fell, James Nayler, and George Fox. sel£ I found I could let go of extraneous plans Covering work, time, integrity, money, and possessions because they no longer fit inward simplicity, parenting, death, despair, what I now discerned to be the primary goals longing, seeking, discernment, decisionfor my life at that time. ... Changes that had making, everyday mysticism, contemplative seemed difficult and complicated were sudlistening, and, above all, God, the book is a denly dear .... This simplification process sampler of Quaker insights and discernments. was not about 'sacrifice' but about choosing The brevity ofeach selection encourages us to the life I really wanted. I felt 'lighter,' and pick up the book whenever we have a mobegan to experience the joy and contentment ment in our busy day, and it by no means I had longed for. I had made a first step reduces the book's ability to resonate within toward Quaker 'plain living."' the reader or connect us to the Light within But plain living, as Whitmire soon discovthe authors Whitmire has chosen. ered, has a few demands of its own: "Plain Framing each of the eight major sections is living is a form of inward simplicity that leads an insightful introduction by Whitmire. As us to listen for the 'still, small voice' of God's she concludes the introduction to inward simclaim upon our lives," she writes. "Plain living plicity: "When we listen within, we too may is a spiritual journey of discovery, a path to be hear an invitation to lay down our encumfollowed .... " bered lifestyle. It is as difficult a decision now In her book, Whitmire gives us the space

ism and in some dynamics in the early movement. I am still not sure how much of the historical material is really relevant to the argument, though I enjoy and appreciate even the bushy side-trails. There are times also when it feels as though perhaps too much analytical machinery is brought to bear, and that a more parsimonious theorizing might get the point across more effectively. Yet in the end, this is a valuable and serious book, not as an authoritative reference, but as a deeply concerned, deeply thoughtful, and rigorous companion in our searches.

ter eeldong ourses
February 3-8


with Marge Abbott
February 17-22


with judy Guerry
February 24-March 1

Plain Living: A Quaker Path Simplicity


with Dan Snyder
March 3-8

A}EWISH-Q!lAKER I,. ........... ,

with Marcia Pmger and Rebecca Kratz M~s
March 17-22


with Karl Middleman


~ PENDLE Hll.l.

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FRIENDS ]OURNAL]anuary 2002


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in which we can dismiss the demands of our cluttered lives, still the chatter of our wired minds, and journey along the path. To dip in and out of Cathy Whitmire's book is to resonate with the peace that passes all understanding. All we have to do is choose to pick it up.

-Ellen Michaud Ellen Michaud, a member ofSouth Starksboro {Vt.} Meeting, is FRIENDS JouRNAL's book review editor.

A Catechism and Confession of Faith

Named among America's 20 Best

By Robert Barclay. New edition in rrwdern English by Dean Freiday and Arthur 0. Roberts. Barclay Press, 200I . 144pages. $6.95/paperback.
Many years ago, an elderly member of my monthly meeting gave me a book once owned by her grandfather when he was a student at Friends Boarding School, Richmond, Indiana, in the early 1850s. I was incredulous when I saw the title on the spine of the battered, leath er-bound volume:

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Barclay s Catechism!
There was more shock in store for me as I leafed through the slim book. Indeed, there was no mistaking it-this was a real, honest, Q uaker catechism! Authored by the apologist himself, Roben Barclay, in 1673, his A Catechism and Confession of Faith followed the lines of the Westminster Confession and articulated a defense of Quaker beliefs in question-and-answer format, each answer coming straight from the Bible. Less shocking is the decision by Barclay Press to offer this new edition of Barclay's catechism. After all, he is the evangelical press's namesake, and they were able to get Dean Freiday, editor of Barclays Apology in Modern English, and Arthur 0. Roberrs, eminent Quaker philosopher and historian, to do the updating. Still, for the Friend unused to any Quaker being able to articulate with certainty what we believe, this book will surely come as a surprise. Eighteen chapters cover such topics as God, Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, the Church, the New Birth, the Light, Worship, Baptism, Bread and Wine, the Resurrection, and a look at the Westminster Confession of Faith itself. Everything you ever wanted to know about what early Quakers believed is in this little book. Well, almost everything. A comparison of the 1843 edition of the Catechism in my possession with Freiday's and Roberts's new edition reveals that the editors have been careful to keep to the intent of the author. In one sequence ofquestions in

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" ! 11 )() \L\11''>, till' Ill'\[ t.L'IlLT.l[i()ll \\ dJ .hk: 'What were you doing when the children of Iraq were dying?'"
- \l1111<'111i< Olll.\:1111 \1111/11111. I<J.-h \o/•,·1/'.,ltc!'ll:t 11111/t'lllt'

Friends, we are now in the 12th year of our war against Iraq. It's a new kind of war, waged mainly by economic sanctions that were imposed August 6, 1990. UNICEF and many other reliable sources report that those sanctions are killing thousands of children every month. What does our historic Peace Testimony call us to do now?
-Mary Arnett, Philadelphia, Pa.; Kay Camp, Haverford, Pa.; Frances Crowe, Northampton, Mass.; Ingeborg Jack, Swarthmore, Pa.; Ruth Matson, Upper Darby, Pa.; Marjorie Schier, Levittown, Pa.


january 2002 FRIENDs JoURNAL